5 Acts of Kindness Bringing Communities Closer Together

Whether it’s through a donation or simple visit from afar, these kind gestures demonstrate how challenging times can bring out the best in people.

by - Posted on May 4, 2020

Man delivering flowers to a young woman

Although it could feel like anxiety and stress are a constant in the world today, there are hopeful and inspiring things happening still; strangers are coming together to bring joy and optimism to each other in any way they can.

Here are five people that demonstrate how a simple act of kindness can go a long way during these difficult times.  

Landlord Waives Rent for 200 Tenants Amid Pandemic

A New York City landlord is being recognized for his kindness, after waiving rent for the month of April for more than 200 tenants. Mario Salerno, 59, said he decided to help after noticing the financial burden most of his tenants were carrying, due to the widespread, Covid-19 related job loss and business closures.

On March 30, the Brooklyn native posted notices on the front doors of his 18 buildings throughout the Williamsburg and Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, New York that read: “Due to the recent pandemic of Coronavirus Covid-19 affecting all of us, please note I am waiving rent for the month of April.”

Salerno, who also owns a gas and car service station, spoke to NBC News about the reason behind his grand gesture.

"For me, it was more important for people's health and worrying about who could put food on whose table," he said. "I say don't worry about paying me, worry about your neighbor and worry about your family."

Salerno hopes his act of kindness will encourage other landlords to do the same.

Couple Donates Flowers to Nursing Homes After Postponing Wedding

Engaged couples around the world have been forced to postpone their upcoming weddings due to Covid-19, but one Texas couple decided to turn their heartbreaking experience into a joyful one by repurposing their wedding flowers.

After Kristall Goytia and Jason Oswald were forced to cancel their March 21 wedding, they learned they couldn’t cancel their flowers, so they delivered their 500 roses, 300 hydrangeas, and assorted greenery to senior citizens in their community.

With the help of her church, Goytia located three assisted living homes in San Antonio that would accept the fresh flowers and dropped them off at their front doors with staff, who handed them off to the residents.

“We knew that so many people were being impacted by Covid-19 but we knew the people it was affecting the most were elderly and healthcare workers,” Goytia told Business Insider. “We wanted somebody to be able to enjoy our flowers since we wouldn’t be able to.”

Math Teacher Brings Lesson to Student’s Front Porch

Like many students across the country, 12-year-old Rylee Anderson is adjusting to the sudden shift to remote classes due to the pandemic. After emailing her math teacher, Chris Waba, for help with an assignment, she was pleasantly surprised moments later when she saw him on her porch with a whiteboard in hand.

Waba, 52, who lives across the street from Anderson in Madison, South Dakota, spent the following ten minutes helping his student complete the graphing problem—at a socially safe distance.  

"I'm a better communicator face-to-face than (on) the telephone and I think students learn better that way," Waba told CNN. "Teachers all across the nation have been thrown into a situation like this. I think we're all more comfortable being in front of our classes and that's where we'd rather be."

The young girl’s dad, Josh Anderson, expressed his appreciation towards Waba on Twitter, sharing a photo of the special moment that garnered thousands of retweets and likes.

"The picture just shows the length that which teachers will go to help their students at any cost during these times," Anderson wrote.

100-Year-Old British Veteran Raises Millions for NHS

A British World War II Veteran raised more than $34 million in donations to support the staff and volunteers of the U.K.'s National Health Service. Captain Tom Moore vowed to walk 100 laps in his backyard in Bedfordshire before his 100th birthday on April 30 to reach his target goal of approximately $1,245 for Britain's publicly funded healthcare system.

Within 24 hours, Moore not only surpassed his target, but the donations continued to pour in. After just 11 days, he raised more than 18 million pounds, or about $20 million, and gained thousands of followers on Twitter. With assistance from a walker, Moore reached his goal of 100 laps on April 16, with two weeks to spare.

More than one million people donated to the JustGiving fundraiser, including Prince William, who praised him for being a “one-man fundraising machine.”

Although he met his goal, Moore told his Twitter followers he doesn’t plan on stopping.

He wrote, “Today I completed my final 10 laps, and although the mission is complete—I am going to keep on going.”

FedEx Worker Disinfects Package for Girl With Autoimmune Disorder

A delivery driver is being celebrated after a doorbell camera captured his good deed. Justin Bradshaw, 28, was dropping a delivery off at a Florida home when he saw a sign on the door that alerted mail carriers to leave packages on the doorstep because “someone in the house has an autoimmune disorder.” Bradshaw took time to sanitize the package with a wipe before returning to his car.

After seeing Bradshaw’s kindhearted gesture through their front door camera, Carrie Blasi, whose 11-year daughter has Type 1 Diabetes and therefore more likely to contract Covid-19, praised his actions on Twitter.

“Our Federal Express delivery guy wrote this on our box ‘I sanitized your box once I’ve seen the note on your door’- and you can tell that he used sanitizer wipes on the box,” she wrote. “Amazing!!”

According to the NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, the two met virtually on a Zoom video chat where Blasi and her daughter thanked Bradshaw for his kindness and for giving her family “a more positive outlook on life.”

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